Suspected rhino poacher trampled by elephants in South Africa while fleeing park rangers

Two other men managed to escape the elephants.
Two other men managed to escape the elephants. Photo credit: Getty

A suspected poacher was killed by a herd of elephants in a South African national park and another was injured while fleeing rangers.

Officials said the man who died, along with two others, was suspected of poaching rhinos. When they realised the rangers were following them, they fled, leaving behind an axe and a bag of provisions.

With the help of police dogs and a helicopter, one of the suspects was arrested. He told the authorities he and his friends had run into the elephant herd and he didn't know if the others had survived.

The man trampled by elephants was discovered badly injured and soon died but the third accomplice managed to escape, despite a suspected eye injury.

The search for the third man continues.

Kruger National Park's managing executive Gareth Coleman said it's "unfortunate" one of the men died, but reiterated how vital it is to combat poaching.

"Only through discipline, teamwork and tenacity will we be able to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in Kruger National Park."